Water Line Series
ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE
In the Battle of the River Plate, one of Germany's fabled pocket battleships (Westentaschen - Schlachtschiffe) faced violent action for the first time. Germany built these armored ships (panzerschiffe) to add strength and prestige to the fleet that was badly depleted after World War I. Conceived in 1928, the new warships were designed according to weight restrictions (10,000 tons) imposed by the 1919 Versailles Treaty. Carrying massive 11-inch guns and bearing high, dominant control towers they resembled small battleships. The brilliantly engineered warships, with prototype diesel engines and electrically welded hulls, remained an enigma to potential enemies. Reputed to be faster than a battleship and more powerful than a cruiser they caused some alarm in international naval circles. Admiral Graf Spee, commissioned in 1936, was the most modern of these ships.